The Madeleine Brand Show for April 5, 2011

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Government shutdown looms as budget talks stall

The dueling budget fights in Congress could be compared to the deadly "crossing the streams" in "Ghostbusters": the fight over the 2011 budget is one stream, the controversial budget for next year is another. Both these streams are creating lots of sparks in Washington this week and if they touch - it could spell disaster. The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin joins us to talk about how serious the situation is.
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Millions of Americans received email messages from banks, credit card companies, hotels and chain stores this week alerting them that the company that stores emails of customers, Epsilon, had been hacked. There are now worries that hackers will use the information to target consumers. We speak to security expert Brian Krebs about what this could mean for consumers.
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The White House has reversed itself and announced hat accused 9-11 mastermind Khalil Sheik Mohammed wil not be tried in open court after all. Just a year and a half ago, Attorney General Eric Holder said an open trial in federal court would demonstrate the fairness of the American criminal system. and would be the defining event of his time as attorney general. But Mohammed will now be tried before a military commission at Guantanamo. Slate's legal expert Dahlia Lithwick joins us to talk about that and a Supreme Court Decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas.
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New Malcolm X bio reveals a complicated man

A new biography of Malcolm X by Columbia historian Manning Marable went on sale Monday. Marable spent decades working on it and dug up shocking new details about the man and his death. He would have explained this information on a book tour this week, but he died unexpectedly last Friday of complications related to lung disease. Author Michael Eric Dyson, who has also penned a biography of Malcolm X, joins us to discuss the book.
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Up close and personal with NASA's new Mars rover

After a two-year delay, NASA engineers are putting the final touches on the next Mars rover. The six-wheeled vehicle,dubbed Curiosity, will launch later this year. Monday, reporters were invited to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena to see the rover up close. KPCC reporter Sanden Totten got a sneak peak - through his hairnet and sanitized face mask.
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NPR music critic Ann Powers is in with Madeleine to talk about two new albums by two highly revered icons from the 1970s. Robbie Robertson, lead guitarist of The Band, is out with his first solo album since the 90's, titled, 'How to Become Clairvoyant.' And lead singer of The Kinks, Ray Davies, is back with his new album, 'See My Friends.'
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